Heritage groups complained ’overbearing’ 21-storey block would harm neighbouring 1932 Daily Express building

A Bjarke Ingels Group-designed office block on Fleet Street criticised by heritage groups as being too tall has been given the green light by City of London planners.

Heritage groups wanted the 21-storey block featuring a series of stepped roof terraces to be lowered because of its impact on nearby buildings.

BIG fleet street 4

The Art Deco-inspired Fleet Street block would consist of a series of stepped roof terraces

Historic England, the Twentieth Century Society and the City of London Conservation Area Advisory Committee all lodged objections on the scale of the building in a consultation on the planning application.

But the scheme was approved this week, paving the way for the existing River Court Building, the former home of Goldman Sachs, which has moved to a KPF-designed HQ around the corner, to be flattened.

The new scheme will rise above Owen Williams and Ellis E Clarke’s 1932 Daily Express Building and surround it on two sides.

The grade II*-listed landmark, the former headquarters of the newspaper, is considered one of London’s finest art deco buildings.

The proposals by BIG, which is also working on the Google headquarters scheme at King’s Cross as well as part of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment, would include a refurbishment of the Daily Express building, including the creation of a new exhibition space and a free-to-access roof garden.

Others working on the scheme include landscape architect Spacehub and historic building consultant Donald Insall Associates.